Flatiron School’s Immersive Program Recap

Seven months ago I was presented with an idea…

The idea was to turn my focus from Software Sales to Software Development.

As a creative individual who had just spent 6 years in sales, this seemed like the most frightening and exciting idea I’d ever considered.

I graduated last week from Flatiron Schools Software Engineering Immersive program in Denver, and could not be more excited about the decision I’ve made, and the future it holds.

In a mere 7 months, I went from “what does that question even mean?!” to “there’s a couple ideas I have to complete this task, and I think the most efficient way is…”

While there is a literally NEVER ENDING amount of information to navigate in tech engineering, and I know this is still the beginning of my journey, I wanted to share my school projects all in one place to take a look back on just how quickly dedication to learning can prove growth and show improvement.

Mod 1

Compared to the test driven pre-work, Mod 1 strikes up a few new things, but solidifies fundamental ruby concepts, but now in your own environment. No more typing “learn” just to see if LearnLabs pre written tests pass. Introduce ByeBug and binding.pry to check if your output is what’s expected. By the end of Mod1 you’re thrown your first big curveball: the assignment to write a CLI app in Ruby. You aren’t really taught anything about CLI apps let alone how to build one… but with some researching and some collaboration, behold Jazzy Jay’s YouTube Jukebox:

Mod 2

Curveball number two comes quickly after the first. In the first week of mod 2 you are instantly introduced to Ruby on Rails, as well as diving head first into HTML/CSS/JS. This was SO much information coming SO fast, it was undoubtedly the hardest mod in the program. From barely scraping together JS files that work, to connecting that to your Rails back end this mod was one of the most impactful as well. My partners and I built a deep multi-layer, multi-input filter in rails, that takes user inputs to filter through over 2,000 strains of cannabis to display only strains with desired effects.

I present Herbals:

*Play around with Herbals strain filter HERE *

Mod 3

After the non stop new information being thrown at you in Mod 2, Mod 3 was *almost* a relief. The beginning of a new level of freedom to explore. Obviously people are into different things and have different ideas. This is when you are able to really explore, dial in your DOM Manipulation and Ruby on Rails skills to create full RESTful API’s, CRUD capable apps, and explore 3rd party API’s in more depth. As a musician, I instantly knew what types of tech I would be focused on making, and that gave me some clear guidelines of where to explore. I ambitiously created a tool for both performers and concert-goers to keep track of concert data, but the main focus was for performers to be able to build up their song library, use drag and drop to build sets for upcoming shows, and track ticket sales and revenue data on past shows.

I present SetLy:

Mod 4

Get ready for another curveball... After diving DEEP into Vanilla JS and getting super comfortable with DOM Manipulation, React.JS tosses a hefty but somewhat exciting looking wrench in the mix. Forget *almost* everything you just got comfortable with. The DOM is now virtual, and Vanilla JS is that Ex that never actually looked very good, it was just all you knew, and well, you were comfortable. The introduction to components and state definitely takes some time to sink in, but once it does, it is SO powerful. Conditional rendering and “instant” visual feedback based on state changes adds a whole new level of possibility. I created an ever inspiring lyric writing tool that features 6 unique 3rd party API’s and a rather magical 14 input form that fetches dynamically based on user inputs to help song-writers w/ lyrics.

I present Lyricize:

Mod 5

Get ready for the most curviest curve ball of them all… You’re tasked to learn a new tech that isn’t taught through the program, and utilize it in a full stack app, in less than 3 weeks. There are no classes (unless you ask for specific classes), and everyone you just learned and worked along side for the past few months scurries off in different directions. I chose to dive into Node.JS for a back end, as well as Tonal.JS and Sharp11 for music theory libraries used on the front end.. of what I think is a really useful tool for musicians like myself. I’ll let the video speak for itself.

I present Mode.ify:

My favorite part of this app was diving so deeply into music theory libraries that my head is still spinning in G#mAug6Flat9.

Summary

These programs exist for a reason, and I could not recommend Flatiron School more to anyone looking into an immersive program like this. It was a truly transformative experience, but one that still allows you to be yourself, explore your own interests, and learn your own ways. I am thrilled to be a part of that amazing community who has been extremely fun and supportive on this journey, and I am incredibly excited about whatever it is that comes next for me.

Huge thanks specifically to Kyle Colberly, Damon Chivers, Ahmed Gaber, Jonathon Higger, Kristine Du, and Brian Firooz— (the instructors, coaches, and staff at Flatiron School Denver) — as well as to my cohort mates, friends, family, and everyone who has been there to endure the challenge with me, and support and witness the beginning of this new journey I’ve chosen.

Cheers!

-Jordan Panasewicz

Denver, CO based. Software Sales turned Software Engineer.